More than ever, supply chains need to be agile and resilient. Control towers deliver the supply chain visibility that underpins agility and resilience, hence shipper interest in these information hubs has increased dramatically. Supply chain control tower implementation in stages starting with less challenging nodes makes these solutions affordable and accessible. Also, today's control towers are more powerful than earlier versions, allowing the ability to integrate disparate data sources and information systems while using technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to improve network visibility and performance.

This new e-book from Penske Logistics explores the multiple benefits provided by control towers. You'll learn what they are and why they provide a more responsive management of inventory at rest and in transit, improved order fulfillment and enhanced network design.

Download and read the entire e-book to understand why control towers may be the answer to eliminating vulnerabilities within your supply chain, and how partnering with Penske can keep your business moving forward.

What Is Visibility?

Visibility is the ability to track and monitor the status and location of parts, components and products as they move along through the supply chain from origin to destination. Within the logistics supply chain, visibility is very important as it underpins excellent customer service and enables companies to drive cost out of supply chains by, for example, anticipating and avoiding operational disruptions. Technology is a critical piece of maintaining visibility, with tools such as transportation management systems and artificial intelligence being frequently used.

Maximizing efficiency is often at the forefront of every automotive supply chain decision. It's critical to get the right quantity of the right part, delivered to the right location at the absolute right time. Failing to ensure proper part delivery could bring your operations to a grinding halt and have a catastrophic effect across the entire supply chain. Fortunately, technology is advancing at an exceptional pace giving users unprecedented access to timely data.

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Increase Your Visibility

Connect All Parts of the Supply Chain

Your operations and your customers depend on the supply chain. Whether it is a big-box store waiting for a delivery, a production line waiting for parts or a warehouse waiting for product, you need to know shipments will arrive on time. If any glitches occur along the way, you need to know about them so you can make adjustments and keep people informed down the line.

Information is the common denominator in today's supply chain. Smart technology drives the speed and accuracy of your data. Timely and exact information ensures efficiency within the supply chain and allows supply chain partners to mitigate problems before they occur.

But simply having data is not enough. To provide value, you need connectivity. It's the key ingredient that allows multiple parties within the supply chain to access precise information and use it to improve customer service and make tactical decisions. Through its ClearChain®Technology Suite, Penske Logistics connects all parts of the supply chain to provide you with visibility.

Capture, store and interpret your data

ClearChain puts customers' data into an organized, easily accessible repository. On a good day, ClearChain's visibility can help people within the supply chain drive efficiency and cut costs. On a bad day, that visibility can help people manage a disruption or turn trouble into an opportunity.

Use data insights to drive business results

By facilitating the exchange of data in real time, ClearChain directly links logistics operations with the shipper. ClearChain's apps ensure all parties within the supply chain exchange precise data that allows shippers, transportation providers and customers to make necessary decisions.

"Visibility drives customer service and makes data accessible so customers can make tactical decisions quickly."
—Andy Moses, senior vice president of sales and solutions, Penske Logistics

While key decisions can vary by industry, the information that drives all decisions stems from both a high-level, connected view of the supply chain and granular specifics. In manufacturing, information can allow users to sync deliveries with their production schedules. In retail, information lets users quickly obtain pallets of rock salt before a winter storm hits.

Get real-time data at your fingertips

Because the supply chain includes many variables that must work together seamlessly, ClearChain provides status updates to keep customers informed. GPS tracking allows Penske to see carriers' locations at any point in time. If a carrier doesn't have an onboard tracking system, Penske can connect with the driver's cellphone, closing any potential black holes in the tracking process.

Find potential disruptions sooner and take action

ClearChain allows Penske to get in front of a potential disruption by monitoring real-time traffic and weather information along routes and near customers' locations. If a disruption occurs, Penske can work with carriers and shippers to find the right solution to meet customers' needs. Reacting quickly to a disruption can result in significant savings.

Success within the supply chain depends on connectivity. The ClearChain technology suite — coupled with the people and processes behind it — allows users to know what is happening at the touch of a button or click of a mouse or tap of a finger or swipe of a card. That knowledge creates better service and results.